17 August 2010

Hipmunk - Too Hip Can't Go...Yet

A bit of buzz around Hipmunk today because of a post in Techcrunch. I personally refuse to be drawn into TC's drive to become the arbiter of cool in web stuff. So I don't read it everyday. I try only to read things that are pertinent to me... we are of course all drowning in way too much information.

However - this is travel and so I spent a little time with the new site. I did however like the idea that there are other forms of interface - and particularly the simplicity angle. I think many of the Professor's regular readers know that I believe there is an evolution to natural search coming - and coming quickly. It happened before Google and ITA started dancing. But a pretty interface is not natural search. There are some nice features and its a work in progress so I will defer holding judgement on this part of it.

This is a worthy attempt. From what I can see they are using ITA's usual service and just representing the data. I don't think the information can be manipulated once its presented in this form so the information is - just static and therefore of little upgrade value. Some of the filters are weird. Why would I want to sort on agony value - at least not as the first choice. (Perhaps I am being too critical since I read right to left).

I don't like the way they handle code shares. Its plain dumb.
One feature I REALLY like is the Live Help - this is something that is exceptional value to a user - too bad they just ignored my request for help.

And for the name? I still have somewhere a SIGNED copy of a Chipmunks red vinyl signed. David Saville is spinning in his grave.


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